Polar Bear, King, Paul & Icicle!

Illustration:  Ice King from In The Miz.  Written by Grace E. Ward.  Illustrations by Clara E. Atwood.  Little, Brown, & Co.: Boston.  1904.

“He looked at Paul with an icy stare and bowed stiffly.”

At that moment Paul saw sticking out of the great fields of ice and snow a pole, not unlike an ordinary clothes-pole, against which leaned a huge misshapen figure made apparently of blocks of ice. One arm was twisted around the North Pole and the other rested on the head of a Polar Bear. The giant had two deep eyes that were blue like the color one sees in the heart of a great iceberg or the waters of Lake Lucerne. He looked at Paul with an icy stare and bowed stiffly. Paul felt a bit homesick, it was so still and solemn.

“That’s a rather cold welcome,” said the Icicle, “but dear me ! what can you expect at the North Pole? Don’t mind if he is cool to you. He can’t help it.”

Then the Icicle stepped in front of the giant and saluted with his right hand, saying:

“O King, freeze forever!

O King, melt thou never!”

“Let me hear your report,” said the giant king of the North.

“O King,” answered the Icicle, “I have done thine errands. Six pairs of men’s ears have I frozen, three miles of sidewalks have I made so slippery that the people cannot stand up on them, four water-pipes have I frozen so that people can get no water . . .”

In The Miz.

Written by Grace E. Ward.

Illustrations by Clara E. Atwood.

Little, Brown, & Co.: Boston.  1904.

6 thoughts on “Polar Bear, King, Paul & Icicle!

    1. The kids posture is great too – you can see he is intimidated and homesick! The Icicle is a sensation – his beard!
      Thanks for your comments – I too am a fan on red snowsuit + the damage report!

      1. And the little fox around his neck (I don’t know if it is alive or not, these stories so often have the child accompanied by an animal guardian/friend, so I’m hoping, although the closed eyes…the famous fox fur mentioned in other books?). I am curious, and if you have mentioned this elsewhere just send me to it to save trouble, but how do you find these books? and the snippets you quote are tantalizing – I guess if I researched a particular title, I could find it to read it, or not? Or maybe?

        Remember I am a fairy-tale fan from way back, and the art is just wonderful in these books. I also read a lot of mystery/detective novels from 1900-1930’s but they do not have illustrations, of course. Except for the ones for teenage readers, and those don’t have many.

        thank you!

        1. Claudia,

          Now Claudia . . . you know that fox looks dead! If the fox was a guardian or friend, it died and then Paul made its little dead pelt into a scarf. I am very sorry to once again disappoint you! I find those fox fur (and any animal) garments with the feet and head absolutely repulsive. There is something disturbing about a little boy in a red sleeper/snow suit wearing a fox fur scarf. But then this may be the least strange thing in the image.

          My images are all from books in my collection. I don’t “borrow” images off the internet, and I am mindful of copyright laws. I Photoshop the faded, stained, old images and try to bring them back to life.

          Regarding the snippets – the text in these old books is often perverse and frightening – I really just look for a bit of text about the image and there it is a tantalizing quote. I believe that the world we have made is in a small way (or maybe not so small way) a result of what we teach children. These old books reflect the mind molding of their time – a kind of repressive nightmare for children – the text and images show no less! And the books of today . . . ?

          Thank you for your questions – I hope you are not too disappointed!
          You deserve a happy ending,

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